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SOC 105 Social Problems

Published : 04-Sep,2021  |  Views : 10

Question:

Most inmates return to the community at some point. It is in the best interest of the community that the ex-offender be able reestablish himself and be a contributing member of society, however; how successful their reentry is and how long it lasts depends on a variety of factors.

Describe some of the risks and problems associated with offender reentry into the community. Can these problems be anticipated and planned for? What can the corrections system do to help prepare the offender for reentry?
 
What can the community do to help the newly released inmate smoothly transition back into society?

Answer:

Introduction:

People who break the law are punished by the law. The punishment is based on the severity of the offence a person commits. Where some people are given warning or imposed with fines, others are imprisoned in jail. Imprisonment is basically for those whose offences are so severe that their presence in the society becomes very dangerous for the others. However, all these prisoners are given chances to rectify themselves and go back to the society and lead a normal life. The report intends to discuss the provisions of the law of Probation and Parole, which deals with various aspects of such reentry and how far the re-entry of the prisoners in the community can be considered to be an effective option.

Discussion:  

The law relating to Probation and Parole deals with the reentry of a prisoner back into the society (Maruschak & Parks, 2012). Probation means the release of a prisoner from jail after he has spent a certain term of his sentence and before the completion of the actual sentence, provided the prisoner show signs of rectification during his time in prison. On the other hand, parole is the release of a prisoner after serving a part of his sentence in a prison on the promise of good behavior. However, in case of parole, the release does not end the sentence. The sentence continues and after the release if the prisoner fails to behave in the way expected, he is sent back to prison for the rest of his life (Goode, 2013). There are certain risks associated with the return of an offender back in the society. There can be risks of the prisoner committing the same offence again or a new offence and can also harm the society. Apart from the potential risks due to the prisoner’s re-entry into the society, there are certain problems, which both the prisoner and the society might face. The society does not see a returning prisoner with good eyes and hence, they often tend to avoid the person, instead of helping him to rectify, as the society marks the person as a prisoner. The prisoner faces humiliation and ignorance, after his release from prison and due to such reasons, he might hesitates to rejoin the society in a new way and start a new fresh life. These attitudes of the society, provokes the prisoner to go back to his old way of living, leaving no other option.

The prisoners are all human beings and they belong to the society like everyone else. Most of these prisoners commit crime, either, due to lack of opportunities in life, intoxication, mental distress and due to lack of money and proper lifestyle. The risks and problems of a prisoner re-entering the society, could definitely, be anticipated. Proper planning can be made in this behave to remove such risks and problems (Cochran et al., 2014). If the society engages in activities to remove poverty or to make awareness of the bad effects of drugs and alcohol it can help the weaker portion of the society and reduce the potential number of criminals in the society. Not only so, but this can help the returning prisoner to have a better life, once they are back to the society. Apart from this, the laws can also include new provisions like giving proper employment to the returning prisoner, so that he can earn money in an honest way, instead of going back to the old way of living, that is, “crime”.

The correctional homes have a major role-playing in preparing the prisoners for re-entry in the society. The function of the correctional homes is to reform the inmates, so that they can change themselves and make themselves worthy of rejoining the society. The correctional homes can, through various activities, treatment and understanding, prepare the inmates for their re-entry. The correctional homes, instead of punishing the inmates, takes in account the actual reason behind the criminal mentality of a prisoner. Criminality is a mentality and these homes, run by various experts, reform the prisoners mentally, by removing the criminal nature of the prisoner, reforming him from within (Stathopoulos & Quadara 2014). When rectification or change is seen by the homes, and the once they feel that the prisoner is ready for returning, the homes release the prisoners. The correctional homes use various methods like, awareness activities, counseling programs, drug testing and various other methods to prepare a prisoner for returning. Apart from this, to check the improvement and to prove that the prisoner has actually reformed, the prisoner’s release is subject to observation and various tests, by the correctional homes. Hence, the correctional homes play a huge role.        

The society, by making certain changes in its habits, can help the released prisoner to reform and lead a crime free life in the society (Crewe, 2012). The society should, instead of ignoring and marking a person as a prisoner, accept the person like a normal law abiding member of the society and help him to rectify, by showing him the right path to lead a proper, honest and crime free life.

Conclusion   

This report emphasizes on the need for allowing the prisoners to reenter the society, once they have realized and rectified themselves. This is very much required for the prisoners as too much time in prison may make affect the prisoners adversely. Hence, there must be realization from the prisoner’s side, backed up by the cooperation of the society to help the prisoners to re-enter the society.

References:

Davis, C., Bahr, S. J., & Ward, C. (2013). The process of offender reintegration: Perceptions of what helps prisoners reenter society. Criminology & Criminal Justice, 13(4), 446-469.

Goode, E. (2013). US prison populations decline, reflecting new approach to crime. New York Times, A10-A11.

Cochran, J. C., Mears, D. P., Bales, W. D., & Stewart, E. A. (2014). Does inmate behavior affect post-release offending? Investigating the misconduct-recidivism relationship among youth and adults. Justice Quarterly, 31(6), 1044-1073.

Stathopoulos, M., & Quadara, A. (2014). Women as offenders Women as victims: The role of corrections in supporting women with histories of sexual abuse. Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Crewe, B. (2012). The prisoner society: Power, adaptation and social life in an English prison. OUP Oxford.

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